Saturday, May 15, 2010

Desperate Search: Upheld

5th grade.  The fabric of the story is still with me, but my visual world of the incident only has one or two frames captured in my memory these days.
At that time, I experienced many of what is easiest to describe as 'back spasms' (there is much I can say about these episodes, but they are not the thrust of the story, so we'll simply leave the definition as sufficient).  One of these 'spasms' occurred at school.  I think it happened on the way to or from the music building.  I cannot recall which.  I ended up being carried to the nurses office where I waited for my mother to take me home, a little train wreck in body and mind. 
In those days I had a small posse of friends.  Several kids in my grade were chosen to be a part of "GATE", which was an acronym for 'Gifted something something something'.  The point was that we were smarter than the rest of the children (in theory), and this little government implemented program gave us the conceit to know we were extra special.  We were the important kids, and we knew it.
But as I writhed in the state of spasming, where were my colleagues?  My friends were alienated by my pain.  But as whatever medical staff the elementary school carried me off in the distance, I was not left alone.  Mario Escobar, a student who at best was only a casual friend stayed with me.  He walked with the people carrying me off.  He said pleasantries that any good soul says in such situations, "You're going to be fine," and, "It'll all be okay."
Mario Escobar carried me that day.  He, of course, did not do so physically, but for an eleven year old, he had a remarkable composure to show compassion and love for his fellow student.
Mario was not a GATE student.
About six weeks ago, I decided that I wanted to make a visual collage for my apartment featuring images from films where one character was physically carrying another.  That's a powerful image.  The first image that I immediately thought of was the innocent Boo Radley carrying little Scout Finch to the safety of her father.
While searching for such images in cinema, my exploration began to broaden.  I looked not just for physical carrying moments, but metaphorical ones.  That led to instances that fulfilled Jesus Christ's calling in John 15:13, "Greater love has none but this, that one lay down his life for his friends."
I wanted that singular moment of decision, when the choice is made that the other is greater than self.  My desire was to find what that looked like.  And when confronted with that moment, would I be able to recognize it?
All of this inevitably for me leads to the desire to have some form of transcendent experience from film.  And so a strange longing comes out from within me.


  1. I will buy a waffle to the first person who correctly names all the movies pictured above.

  2. Do you remember when the government deemed that I wasn't "special" enough for GATE. Fourth grade I tested as "talented" (the T in GATE) so they let me into their elite. The next year they kicked me out, saying they only wanted "gifted" students (G in GATE) so they kicked me out. Then in sixth grade, they wanted me back....LOL

  3. That pretty much is the Stack family in a nutshell: borderline gifted.